Mountain biodiversity


Mountains loom large in some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes.
Their unique topography, compressed climatic zones and isolation have created the conditions for a wide spectrum of life forms.

Half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots are concentrated in mountains and mountains support approximately one-quarter of terrestrial biological diversity. Mountains are home to rare species of plants and animals. These include increasingly rare animals such as gorillas, mountain lions, and the majestic tahr or strikingly beautiful plants such as orchids and lobelias.

A large portion of the world's most precious gene pools (for agriculture and medicine) are preserved in mountains. Crops that are important for food security, such as maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, tomatoes, beans and apples, have been diversified in mountains and an array of domestic animals - sheep, goats, yaks, llamas and alpacas - have originated or been diversified in mountains. Other crops, such as wheat, rye, rice, oats and grapes, have found new homes in the mountains and evolved into many varieties. Coffee and tea, with their roots in Ethiopia and the Himalayan region, are mountain crops as well. Medicinal plants are one of the most valuable resources from high altitudes. This rich biodiversity holds cultural, ecological and economic value. In the Andes, for example, farmers know of as many as 200 different varieties of indigenous potatoes and, in Nepal, they farm approximately 2 000 varieties of rice.

Climate change, poverty, commercial mining, logging and poaching all exact a heavy toll on mountain biodiversity. The sustainable management of mountain biodiversity has increasingly been recognized as a global priority. The Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a Programme of Work on Mountain Biological Diversity in 2004, which includes a set of actions and targets addressing characteristics and problems that are specific to mountain ecosystems. 

 

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

event

National Parks Austria and Hohe Tauern National Park will host the 6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Salzburg, Austria. Researchers and protected areas managers, as well as individuals from government, business, non-governmental organizations and the public who are interested in...

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Mountains and Sacred Landscapes

Mountains and Sacred Landscapes

event

The India China Institute (ICI) at The New School, the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC), American University’s Center for Latin America and Latino Studies (CLALS) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) announce an international conference on the theme of mountains...

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FAO launches Mountain Cultures Photo Contest

FAO launches Mountain Cultures Photo Contest

peak to peak

Issue 99 – Month 12 – Year 2016

The December issue of Peak to Peak announces the launch of the Mountain Cultures Photo Contest in celebration of International Mountain Day 2016, “Mountain Cultures: celebrating diversity and strengthening identity”. The newsletter continues with stories about 20 families living in...

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Climate change impacts in mountains – COP22

Climate change impacts in mountains – COP22

news

As the implementation of the Paris Agreement was being discussed in Marrakech, Morocco, mountain governments, institutions and NGOs reviewed the needs and mechanisms for addressing the impacts of climate change in mountains globally. Organized within the framework of the Mountain Partnership, the official side event “The impact of climate change...

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Mountains and the 2030 Agenda – COP22

Mountains and the 2030 Agenda – COP22

news

Organized within the framework of the Mountain Partnership, the official side event “Mapping and understanding mountains to achieve the 2030 Agenda” was held on 11 November 2016 at the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP22). The session focused on assessing...

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Survey shows positive impacts of IPROMO course

Survey shows positive impacts of IPROMO course

news

In July 2017, the International Programme on Research and Training on Sustainable Management of Mountain Areas (IPROMO) will celebrate its tenth anniversary. In order to assess the impact IPROMO has had on its participants’ career development and networking and to improve the programme for the next courses, the Mountain Partnership...

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